Adherence with oseltamivir chemoprophylaxis among workers exposed to poultry during avian influenza outbreaks in southern Israel Academic Article uri icon


  • Summary Objectives To determine adherence with recommended pre- and post-exposure oseltamivir prophylaxis (OP) among workers exposed to poultry during five simultaneous avian influenza (AI) H5N1 outbreaks in poultry farms in southern Israel in March 2006, as well as the efficiency of the distribution system of oseltamivir in the community. Design Epidemiological investigation identified 201 workers exposed to poultry during AI outbreaks. They were interviewed by a public health nurse regarding adherence with recommended OP, symptoms, and possible side effects. Data were collected on type of exposure, age, sex, rate of adherence with OP, and reasons for non-adherence. For eight workers, paired sera were drawn for the determination of antibodies to H5. Data were collected on the efficiency of the distribution of oseltamivir tablets to workers in the community. Results High adherence with OP (87.6%) was found among poultry workers during outbreaks of AI, with no difference by type of exposure, age, or sex. There was a low rate of side effects of OP (1.5%). No exposed workers developed AI and none of the eight who had paired sera drawn showed seroconversion. The distribution of OP in the community was inefficient, with 27.7% of the tablets ‘lost’ or returned unusable. Conclusions These data emphasize the importance of developing efficient targeted distribution systems in the community for OP, in order to prevent human infection during AI outbreaks.

publication date

  • January 1, 2009